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tv   President Clinton at D- Day 50th Anniversary  CSPAN  June 7, 2014 9:13pm-9:24pm EDT

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>> this is american history tv on c-span3 where we are marking the 70th anniversary of the d-day invasion. we continue our look at past presidential speeches in normandy. next, we hear from bill clinton on the 50th anniversary of d-day in june of 1994. >> honored members of the military, family, friends, fellow americans, we stand on sacred soil. 50 years ago at this place, america -- the miracle of liberation began. on that morning, democracy's forces landed to and the
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enslavement of europe. a.m., the second ranger battalion of the united states army led 224 men onto the beaches below and up these unforgiving cliffs. bullets and grenades came down upon them. a few minutes after 7:00, exactly here, the first rangers stood. today, let us ask those american heroes to stand again. [applause] corporal to my right was one
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of them. he had just celebrated his 20th birthday out in the channel. a young man like all of the rest of them. cold and wet, far from home, preparing for the challenge of his life. ken and the other rangerso of pointe du hoc and all the other americans and canadians who landed for the tip of the spear the free world had spent years sharpening, the spear they began on this morning in 1944 to plunge into the heart of the nazi empire. most of them were new to war, but all were orange with the andnuity of free citizens the cause that they fought for a free cause under the gaze of a loving god. the fortunate would go home changed forever. thousands -- overhead]
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thousands would never return. today, we mourn their loss. but on that graydon, literally millions of people on this continent awaited their arrival. young anne frank wrote in her diary these words. "it is no exaggeration to say all amsterdam, all holland, the whole west coast of europe talks about the invasion day and night, debates about it, makes bets about it, and hopes. i have the feeling friends are approaching." the young men who came and fought for the very survival of democracy, just four years
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earlier some thought democracy's day had passed. hitler was rolling across europe. american factories worked at only half capacity. our people were badly divided over what to do. the future seemed to belong to the dictators. it'ssneered at democracy, mingling of races and religion, its tolerance of dissent. they were sure we did not have what it took. well, they did not know these men of d-day. they did not understand what happens when the free unite the hind a great and worthy cause. for human miracles begin with personal choices. millions of them gathered together as one like the stars of the majestic galaxy at this place in britain, in north america, in france, and across europe, all those choices can
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together. the choices of lionhearted leaders to rally their people. the choices of people to mobilize for freedom's fight. the choices of the soldiers to carry on the fight into a world worn weary by devastation and despair. every person in the democracies pitched in. every shipbuilder who built a landing craft, every woman who worked in a factory, every farmer who grew food for the troops, every miner who carved coal out of the cabin, every child who tended a victory garden, all did their part. all produced things with her hands and heart that went into this battle, and on the day -- d-day, all across the free world, the people of democracy prayed they had done their job right. well, they had done their job right. here, you, the army rangers, did years.
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your mission was to scale these cliffs and destroy the ho witzers at the top that threaten every soldier and ship within miles. ashore and began to climb up ropes as the germans shot down and tried to cut your on to the cliffs with nothing but knives and bear hands. , you tooktle raged devastating t's -- casualties. but you also took control of these commanding pikes. two rangersa.m., discovered big hands hidden inland and disabled them with grenades. at that moment, you became the first americans on d-day to complete your mission. we look at this terrain and marvel at your fight. we look around us, and we see
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what you are fighting for. ,or here are the daughters sons, grandsons, the faces for whom you risk your lives. here are the generations for you won ane award -- war. we are the children of your sacrifice. daughters sons and you saved from tierney's reached -- tyranny's reach. we grew up behind the strong alliances you forged in blood upon these beaches on the shores of the pacific and in the skies above. we flourished in the nation you came home to build. the most difficult days of your lives bought us 50 years of freedom. you did your job. now we must do ours.
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let us begin by teaching our young people about the villainy that started this war and the valor that ended it. let us carry on the work you began here. the sparks are free to me on these beaches were never extinguished even in the darkest days behind the iron curtain. five years ago, the miracle of liberation was repeated as the rotting timbers of communism came tumbling down. now we stand at the start of a new day. the soviet empire is gone. so many people who fought as our partners in this war, the others,, the pols, and now stand again as our partners in peace and democracy. our work is far from done. still there are cliffs to scale. we must work to contain the world's most deadly weapons, to expand the reach of democracy. we must keep ready arms and strong alliances.
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we must have strong families and cohesive societies and educated citizens and vibrant, open economies that promote cooperation, not conflict. wewe should ever falter, need only remember you at this spot 50 years ago, and you again at this spot today. the flame of your youth became freedom's lamp. we see its light reflected in your face is still, and in the faces of your children and grandchildren. did,mmit ourselves, as you to keep that lamp burning for those who will follow. you completed your mission here. but the mission of freedom goes on. the battle continues. over.ngest day is not yet god bless you, and god bless america. [applause]
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>> this year marks the 70th anniversary of the d-day invasion. we continue our look at past presidential speeches in normandy. next, we hear from george w. bush on the 60th anniversary of d-day in june of 2004. this is american history tv on c-span3. ladies and gentlemen, it is a high honor to represent the american people here at normandy on the sixth of june, 2004. 20 summers

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